Bay EDA helping continue growth in Bay County

Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 6:11 PM CST
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - “We’ve got a lot of momentum heading into the end of the year and going into the next year,” Becca Hardin, President of the Bay Economic Development Alliance, said.

Hardin said many companies, both domestic and international, are wanting to plant roots here.

“There’s a lot of excitement for the growth that’s going on in Bay County, specifically with some of the companies that want to have a presence here,” Hardin said.

The Bay EDA started the year by adding a new tool to its toolbox. Bay County is the first, and only community in the state of Florida to receive the Foreign Direct Investment Certification.

“By getting this certification it proves that our community leadership knows how to deal with international companies, and we understand different cultures and businesses,” Hardin said.

Hardin points to Airtemp of Mexico, a foreign company she claims is thriving in Bay County. The company is looking to grow its workforce in the upcoming year.

“We’re starting the hiring process with them in January,” Hardin said. “They’ll have about 50 employees. They manufacture heating units for automotive cars for Volkswagen and Volvo.”

Another sign of growth is at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, with expansion plans in the new year.

“We’ve been able to showcase our state-of-the-art, brand-new airport to companies throughout the world,” Hardin said. “There’s a lot of interest because there’s a lot of sites that have access to our 10,000-foot runway.”

In the past seven years, the Bay EDA has helped bring about 2,000 jobs to the community.

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